Senate Bill No. 2
(By Senator Blatnik)
[Introduced January 11, 1995; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section nineteen, article eight,
chapter sixty-one of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to crimes and
their punishment; and changing the penalty for cruelty to
animals from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section nineteen, article eight, chapter sixty-one of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY AND DECENCY.
§61-8-19. Cruelty to animals; penalties; exclusions.
(a) If any person cruelly mistreats, abandons or withholds
proper sustenance, including food, water, shelter or medical treatment necessary to sustain normal health and fitness or to
end suffering or abandons any animal to die, or uses, trains or
possesses any domesticated animal for the purpose of seizing,
detaining or maltreating any other domesticated animal, he or she
is guilty of a
misdemeanor felony, and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one
thousand dollars, or confined in the county jail not more than
six months, or both so fined and confined penitentiary or
regional jail for not less than one year, or both fined and
(b) Any person, other than a licensed veterinarian or a
person acting under the direction or with the approval of a
licensed veterinarian, who knowingly and willfully administers or
causes to be administered to any animal participating in any
contest any controlled substance or any other drug for the
purpose of altering or otherwise affecting said animal's
performance is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than
one thousand dollars.
(c) Any person convicted of a violation of this section
shall forfeit his or her interest in any such animal and all
interest in such animal shall vest in the humane society or
county pound of the county in which said conviction was rendered,
and such person shall, in addition to any fine imposed, be liable
for any costs incurred or to be incurred by the humane society or
county pound as a result.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "controlled
substance" shall have the same meaning ascribed to it by
subsection (d), section one hundred one, article one, chapter
sixty-a of this code.
(e) The provisions of this section do not apply to farm
livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife kept in private or
licensed game farms if kept and maintained according to usual and
accepted standards of livestock, poultry, gaming fowl or wildlife
or game farm production and management, nor to humane use of
animals or activities regulated under and in conformity with the
provisions of 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq. and the regulations
promulgated thereunder, as both such statutes and regulations are in effect on the effective date of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to change the penalty for
cruelty to animals from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.